John Bruno isn’t attending the U.N. climate talks being held in Bali, Indonesia, but he does have some advice for any delegates looking to take in the resort’s famed reefs: enjoy it now, because if sea temperatures continue to rise, expect to see more — and more severe — disease outbreaks that wipe out corals.
Bruno has the credentials to back up his advice. A marine biologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he co-authored two 2007 studies on rapid coral decline and on a link between coral disease and global warming.
One study found that coral coverage in the Indo-Pacific — an area stretching from Indonesia’s Sumatra island to French Polynesia — dropped 20 percent in the past two decades. That rate is much higher than Bruno’s team had expected.
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